Everyone these days seems to want the ultimate in everything when it comes to the location of their property. Be it the purchase of a condominium or landed property, or the rental of the same or an apartment, the words we hear the most are “within walking distance of the BTS, 200 or 300 meters maximum, and nearby to an expressway entrance so that we can get to the airport quickly.” This is understandable in a city that experiences traffic, and gridlock the way that Bangkok does, however, let’s take a look at the problems that this causes, and some possible solutions.
First and foremost, if you stick to a strict distance of within 300 meters of a BTS station, your choice of property is severely limited to maybe 10-15% of the actual property stock available in Bangkok, much less when talking about landed property. The other downside of this requirement is that prices are infinitely higher when it comes to these locations for the simple reasons of supply and demand. One further downside, which is often overlooked is the fact that if you own a car, in general it is more difficult to get to these properties that are near to the BTS stations due to the volume of traffic on the main roads and the one entry/exit route.
“What are the alternatives?” I hear you asking? “Bangkok traffic is so bad; we need to be on the doorstep of the public transport system to get around freely!” While this is one solution, there are others, which can result in superior property, for less money, in an arguably better location! These are:
- Look for a property which may be a little further away from the BTS, but which offers a shuttle service to and from the end of the Soi. There are many of these buildings around, and they can save you a long walk in the sticky heat.
- Look for alternative forms of transport to your home. Most of the sois in Bangkok have either motorcycle taxis or tuk-tuk vehicles at their mouth, or at the junction with the main road. Utilizing these methods of transport deeper into the sois will open up your potential property list endlessly. Particularly when looking for houses, rather than condos and apartments, don’t rule out the suburbs, such at the RamIntra, Ramkamhaeng, Bang Na and Srinakarin areas, however, do make sure that there is easy access to the expressway system to enable a quick commute into town.
A fantastic example of these points would be a compound such as Villa 49, which is a compound of townhouses located on Sukhumvit Soi 49. It is at the very far end of Soi 49, as far away from Sukhumvit Rd, and the skytrain as it is possible to go, way too far to walk comfortably. However, right outside the compound is the pier for the canal boat, which will take you to the MRT station at Petchaburi within 5 minutes. What an interesting way to get around the city! There are also tuk-tuks at the front gate should you wish to get to the main Sukhumvit Road, and there are at least 5 routes which you could drive to get to the compound, maximizing your options when it comes to avoiding the Bangkok traffic jam. As an added bonus, you can wake up to the sound of birds singing in the morning as you are away from the main roads and pollution. Find out more here.
The moral of the story? Think laterally, open your mind and don’t just follow the crowd because you think that might be easiest; It’s not always the case. Look a little harder and you can find the hidden gems.
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